Preschool scholarship to give kids a hand up

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds


THE Rising Star Child Development School yesterday awarded three preschool scholarships to children from needy families.

The children are part of the Majlis Kesejahteraan Masyarakat (MKM) or Council on Social Welfare’s ‘Sponsor a Family’ programme which assists underprivileged families with basic necessities.

Vice president of MKM, Nur Judy Abdullah, said many struggling families cannot afford to send their children to preschool because of cost of tuition fees.

She noted that all preschools in the country are privately owned. Free universal education, which is provided by the government, does not begin until Primary 1.

“Many of these children are missing out on essential education during their formative years. We see this scholarship as giving them a hand up, so they can get a head start on their education and break the cycle of poverty,” she told The Brunei Times.

Judy added that many of the families supported by MKM often have more than five children, making preschool fees – which start at $150 a month – out of reach.

Owner of the Rising Star Child Development School, Pg Hjh Siti Hadizah PDP Pg Hj Apong, presented the three children with their school supplies yesterday.

She said the scholarship covers tuition fees from Kindergarten 1 to Kindergarten 3, school uniforms, books and stationery.

“We are more than happy to give these kids the scholarship because they deserve it,” said Pg Hjh Siti Hadizah. “Our school provides a balanced and well-rounded education for all children, integrating hands-on activities, and strong numeracy and literacy programmes.”

She added that Rising Star also opened a child development unit last year to provide support centre for special needs children.

The three recipients of the scholarship were Muhammad Ady Sha’arifin Erwany Seruny, Mohammad Sahrulariffen Sajali and Siti Nor Khadijah Zulkiflee. All are 3 years old and are in Kindergarten 1.

Judy shared that the children were chosen based on the income level of the parents and the number of children in the family.

“One of the recipients has 15 brothers and sisters and the family belongs to the low income bracket. Normally the parents will wait until the child is age six before they send the child to Primary 1 in a government school… because they put priority on the elder children due to financial constraints,” she said.

“The formative years from age three to five are critical to child development and most young underprivileged children do not have access to this.”

The Brunei Times